With over 550 million registered professionals, of which over 4,200,000 are Monthly Active Australian Users, LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B Lead Generation.
LinkedIn recently celebrated fifteen years of life and is today the social platform on which anyone operating in B2B must be present.
The simple opening of a company page alone, however, cannot bring benefits if you do not use the right tools to organise better your social media marketing, which must set an important goal: the lead generation, or the production of a list of potential customers interested in the products or services offered by your company.
Content posted on LinkedIn generates an average number of visits, and a visit-to-lead conversion rate, four times higher than Facebook or Twitter
If you consider that a content posted on LinkedIn generates an average number of visits, and a conversion rate from visit to lead, four times higher than Facebook or Twitter, it is clear that the Microsoft-owned social network is the best place to do lead generation in the B2B environment.
The ten following steps are crucial to do an effective lead generation on LinkedIn.
Table of Content:
1: Start generating quality content
The best strategy to generate leads is to create an editorial plan that takes into account the target audience, and that leads to the continuous publication of content (considered) interesting.
Before organising an editorial plan for your company page, it is good to keep in mind all the time the audience with whom you are about to communicate. LinkedIn users are not comparable to those of social networks like Facebook or Instagram; the vast majority are highly qualified professionals, looking for practical solutions for their business.
The contents must be engaging and bring value to those who read them. An investigation conducted by LinkedIn on its users shows that over 60% of them feel more involved in information and training content. Other favourite topics are news on trends, management advice, post on industry events. By applying an excellent content marketing strategy, your company can achieve that critical goal of being perceived as an expert in your industry by other professionals.
2: Publish content every day
For your social media marketing strategy to succeed on LinkedIn, you need to be very active on your business page. The publication of at least one content per day is the minimum required to create interaction with other users. We need to continually publish quality content and remember that it takes time to get credibility on social media.
You should always read the comments and respond promptly to the questions because that is how you create that kind of relationship that helps to develop a sense of trust between your company and the audience.
3: Create one or more showcase pages
A useful tool to obtain a better lead generation is the creation of one or more showcase pages (the maximum allowed is 10). On LinkedIn, every company has the opportunity to present a product or service in a specific way, and give it greater visibility.
The showcase page, while remaining connected to the company page, lives its own life and has its followers. A showcase page allows you to apply marketing strategies on a specific target you have identified for the single product/service promoted with the showcase page.
When creating the page, the choice of keywords is critical, both in the name and in the description: a window page made with industry-specific keywords will favour the indexing of the company page by Google (yes, Google indexes LinkedIn pages like any other web page. SEO applies to LinkedIn too)
Also, in this case, the creation of the page must follow an intense activity of updating it, with the publication of constantly new exciting content.
4: Use Sponsored InMail
Very useful to make lead generation on LinkedIn is Sponsored InMail, a tool that allows you to send private messages directly to the mailbox of a selected audience by choosing concise target parameters. By the way, it is important to clarify here that InMail can be used to contact people outside of your network, impossible to contact otherwise.
In this way the company can create highly personalised messages, to be sent to a chosen audience based on specific characteristics: for example, you can contact a user who has visited the page of one or more competitors, or those who have expressed interest in a particular content, and so on.
The use of Sponsored InMails allows a highly-verticalised target, so it is advisable to listen carefully to the target audience before sending InMail, to understand what content may be of interest to them. The rule is the same underlying the success of a content marketing strategy: to offer a useful and not excessively self-promotional content.
The advice is to use this lead generation method only after a good reputation has already been achieved. A campaign made with a weak reputation, given the costs of LinkedIn, could be a disaster both concerning the lead generation, investment and brand reputation.
Compared to traditional Direct Email Marketing, the opening rate is much higher. Above all, this happens for two reasons: the first is that hardly a private message received on a social platform is not read; the second reason is that Sponsored InMail allows the sender to save the email and send it automatically when the recipient connects to LinkedIn.
A careful analysis of the results must follow an InMail campaign. What you need to monitor are:
- the cost of sending each message (cost per send, CPS)
- the opening rate (opens)
- the number of clicks on the call-to-action button or links contained in the text (clicks)
- the number of people who answered (conversions)
Only by analysing this data is it possible to program e-mail sending campaigns that are more and more in line with potential leads.
5: Use LinkedIn Website Demographics
LinkedIn provides its users with a tool that lets you know what kind of professionals visited their company website. By inserting the code line of LinkedIn Website Demographics in the pages you want to track, you will be able to associate visitor data with those of their profiles on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Website Demographics provides all data anonymously, without the names and surnames of those who visited the site, for reasons of privacy. However, other data are useful in selecting one’s target and in creating a lead generation strategy. In filtering the target audience, you can choose up to eight professional categories:
- job title
- product sector
- company function
- company size
6: Create your group
Creating your group on LinkedIn can be very useful for a company. It is in the group, in fact, that those conversations and interactions are built and that reinforce the brand’s leadership on the market.
When creating a “corporate” group, the most important rule to follow is not to exaggerate the promotion of products or services offered. The group must also serve to create content, not to do self-promotion. We need to listen to the participants, answer their questions and propose topics for discussion.
7: Publish native videos
Until recently, to post a video on LinkedIn, it was necessary to go to sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Today, personal and business profiles can directly upload native videos and then share the link, a substantial change that brings two benefits: faster speed in publishing the video and greater visibility, as the algorithm of LinkedIn rewards content that does not lead off the site.
The publication of a video is an excellent opportunity for lead generation: a post containing a video is shared on average twenty times more than any other type of content.
On LinkedIn, videos can last from 3 seconds to 10 minutes and can have a maximum of 5 gigabytes in size.
8: Create sponsored content
Also LinkedIn, as well as other social networks gives the opportunity to promote its brand through sponsored content. Promotion can be done, for example, through sponsored updates on your page: the page’s publications will appear in the feeds of a specific audience, chosen through particular keywords.
Then there are direct sponsored contents: created explicitly through the management of the campaigns on LinkedIn. Also, in this case, the contents will be shown only to users in line with your target audience.
Although it is more expensive than other social platforms, advertising on LinkedIn is a useful tool for generating high-quality lead streams. The audience that is going to intercept is highly qualified; it is professionals who, most likely, are looking for useful solutions for their business.
For this reason, the advice is to invest in LinkedIn Ads especially when you have a content marketing strategy in place, and you can publish content (research, case studies, graphics) that can bring an immediate benefit to the user.
9: Monitor insights data
If the generation of quality content is essential in the lead generation, it is equally important to analyse the results of your posts and campaigns through LinkedIn Analytics. Three, in particular, is the data to keep an eye on:
- the impressions (how many users have viewed the content)
- the engagement (how many have interacted with the post)
- the number of clicks.
Analysing this data, understanding mistakes and finding opportunities, is essential to set up future campaigns and posts more in line with the goals you want to achieve.
10: Follow the LinkedIn Marketing Blog
Who better than those who work there can give useful suggestions to companies on how to promote themselves on LinkedIn?
The LinkedIn Marketing Blog hosts a carefully selected selection of articles specifically designed to help the user improve their LinkedIn marketing.
It is the place to learn how to make the most of the tools already available and to discover early the ones just launched by the platform.
Bonus Tips: get motivated
- Read as much as you possibly can, especially good business books. A friend of mine suggested a great source of ideas you can visit here 200+ Business Books: Recommended by Business Professionals [Full List]
- 25 Lead Generation strategies. The guys from Fieldboom have put together ideas and split them into different goals (like more email signups, demo requests etc.) and analysed a large number of case studies to show what makes each idea tick.